PROJECT

Smyrna Opera House
Smyrna, DE

CLIENT

Smyrna Clayton Heritage Association
Smyrna, DE

The Smyrna Opera House was constructed in 1867 and expanded in 1878. Fire destroyed the third floor and bell tower in 1948. The building’s first floor had served as city hall, police station and jail. Today the first floor accommodates the Smyrna Public Library. The second floor originally housed a theatre and other public assemblies; subsequently converted to a movie house, it stood vacant for many years. A study determined the feasibility of restoring the second floor and reconstructing the tower and third floor, for community activities from theatre to art shows.

Reconstruction and adaptive use of the old building, with an addition providing needed support facilities - stairs, elevator, mechanical equipment, toilets, kitchen - were phased with fund-raising efforts. The existing basement was deepened to provide storage for the library. To meet code standards, and to re-create a balcony in the theatre while providing a column free floor, required extensive structural improvements.

No documentation was available about the original interior appearance. We fashioned spaces consistent with that period while still accommodating contemporary needs.


1504 North French Street | Wilmington DE, 19801 | Tel: 302.655.1105 | Fax: 302.655.1139